Home Fashion Industry Financial Google’s call filtering feature can tell unwanted callers to get lost. here’s how

Google’s call filtering feature can tell unwanted callers to get lost. here’s how


The Google call screen is easy to use.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Automated calls are boring. You have to guess every call from a number that is not in your contacts, and you know that accepting a scammer’s call will only result in more automated calls. But answering your phone doesn’t have to be so stressful.

Enter an Android feature called Google call screen. Instead of taking the call yourself, you can have Google Assistant answer it for you, speak to the person on the other end of the phone, and provide you with a real-time transcript. You can then decide whether you want to resume or end the call.

Although the call screen debuted by Google Pixel phone line, Google told me that it is also available on some Motorola and Nokia devices. The company does not have a list of phones with this feature, but Motorola in early 2019 announced i Moto G7 and Moto One the lineup would get it (it’s unclear which Nokia phones have a call screen). You will know if your phone has access to the call screen if you see the options described below.

When the Pixel 4 Launched in October 2019, Google announced that Call Screen will automatically filter your calls without you having to do anything. It’s a pretty cool feature and should be available on all phones. Yes, even the iPhone.


Filter incoming calls with just a touch.

Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Filter an incoming call with a single tap

Whenever your Pixel phone rings, you will see the standard incoming call interface, but with a new Call screen button. You don’t need to enable the feature, it is enabled by default. Press the button to immediately answer the call and have Google Assistant start talking to the caller. The script at the start of the call is always the same.

The Google Assistant tells the caller that you are using a screening service, which will provide you with a transcript of the call, and asks the person to provide the reason for the call.

Once the caller starts speaking, a transcript of the answer will show on your phone screen in real time. The transcript is presented as an SMS conversation, with options pre-populated at the bottom of your screen. If you want to ask the caller for more info or say you can’t answer the phone right now, just tap one of the options and Google Assistant will continue speaking on your behalf.

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Google call screen: everything you need to know


In addition to reading the responses, you can choose to listen to the caller by holding the phone to your ear or by pressing the volume button on the side of your phone to activate the speakerphone.

If the call is bot or spam, you can flag it as such and Google Assistant will end the call. If this is someone you want to talk to, press the green answer button and start talking.

The whole experience is incredibly well done, impressive, and straightforward.

pixel-4 call screen

All Pixel phones can automatically screen calls for you.

Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

You don’t have to do anything about suspected spam calls

On Thursday, Google began rolling out a new automatic call screening feature to all Pixel phones. Previously only available on the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, it will prevent robocalls and suspected unwanted calls from reaching your phone.

Google doesn’t have a timeline for the rollout, so if you don’t have the option to activate it yet, keep checking.

To activate automatic filtering of calls in the Settings of the Phone application. Open the Phone app, tap the three dots icon in the top right corner and navigate to Settings > Spam filter and calls > Call filter.

Browse each option in the Unknown call settings section, telling your phone which types of callers to let through and which Google Assistant should automatically filter out.

Did you know that you can change the voice of the Google Assistant that answers your calls?

Screenshots of Jason Cipriani / CNET

Another old Pixel 4-only feature that is now rolling out to all Pixel phones is the ability to record the audio recording of a screened call. If you activate the function, your phone will only keep the sound of the person who called. It won’t keep your audio or Google Assistant audio if you decide to respond.

If you don’t have these options, make sure your Pixel doesn’t have any pending software updates and that the Phone app is up to date in the Play Store.

Refine your settings

If you don’t have the new automatic call screening feature yet, or if you have a non-Pixel phone, you can always adjust how call screening works. To view the call screen settings, open the Phone app and tap the three-dot icon in the upper right corner, followed by Settings > Call filter.

You will be able to change the voice of the Google Assistant that answers your calls, as well as see a demonstration of how the feature works.


The transcript view is one of my favorite features of the Google call screen.

Jason Cipriani / CNET

Confidentiality above all

Call Screen uses Google Assistant to monitor the call. Just as the Assistant transcribes your requests, it also transcribes incoming calls. At no time during the call is any information sent to Google’s servers – everything is handled on your phone.

Whenever you tell Google Assistant to do something like send a message or listen to music, Google stores a recording of the audio in your Google account.

At launch, there was no way to show previous transcripts, but towards the end of 2018 Google added the ability to show call screen transcripts. You can find out more about where find your call screening transcripts here.

If you are new to Android, be sure to change these five Android phone settings. Recently upgraded to Android 10? Get accustomed to the new Android 10 gesture navigation, so what check out these Android 10 privacy settings you need to know

Originally posted a year ago. Updated with new information.